Relationships among indicators of fitness, fatness and cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents

Duncan Strachan Buchan, John Young, Stephen Mark Cooper, Robert Malina, John Cockcroft, Julien Stephen Baker

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    In adults, fatness and low cardiorespiratory fitness are associated with a higher prevalence of chronic disease risk and mortality. The association between measures of physical fitness and fatness upon cardiovascular risk in youth, however, is less clear. The effects of adiposity and physical fitness upon cardiovascular disease risk factors in youth are receiving increasing attention but studies that have examined their independent associations are sparse. The purpose of this study thus was to investigate relationships among cardiovascular disease risk factors, four indicators of physical fitness and three indicators of fatness in a healthy adolescent cohort. Forty-eight boys and ten girls, 16.4±0.7 years, volunteered to participate in this cross-sectional study. Measurements included Blood Pressure (BP), three indicators of fatness and fat distribution Body Mass Index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio, waist circumference), four measures of physical fitness (aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, sprinting speed, agility), weekly food intake and Physical Activity (PA) levels. Metabolic CVD risk factors included Total Cholesterol (TC), insulin, High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL), Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL), high-sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP), glucose, fibrinogen, interleukin-6, adiponectin, triglyceride and Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). Relationships between cardiorespiratory fitness and adiponectin (r = 0.443) and between muscular power and glucose (r = 0.430) were significant and moderate. Significant inverse correlations were also noted between adiponectin, sprint (r = -0.456) and agility (r = -0.399) performance. Adiponectin was also significantly and inversely correlated with waist circumference (r = - 0.514) and BMI (r = -0.434). From the regression models, a significant percentage of the variance in cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular fitness, agility and sprint performance (about 74, 53, 46 and 59%) was explained by traditional covariates. The results indicate that adiponectin is independently associated with different indicators of physical fitness and adiposity. Future studies may need to consider implementing interventions that improve all measures of physical fitness to ensure enhanced CVD risk profiles of youth.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)89-95
    Number of pages7
    JournalOnLine Journal of Biological Sciences
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Blood Pressure (BP)
    • Body Mass Index (BMI)
    • C-Reactive Protein (CRP)
    • High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)
    • Metabolic Profile
    • Physical Fitness
    • Youth


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